-- Robert Preidt
THURSDAY, Sept. 16 (HealthDay News) -- U.S. childhood
immunization rates remain high, with coverage for most routine
vaccines at or over 90 percent, a new federal report shows.
Among children aged 19 to 35 months, less than 1 percent had not
received any vaccinations, according to the 2009 National
Immunization Survey of more than 17,000 households with children
born between January 2006 and July 2008.
Coverage for vaccination against poliovirus, hepatitis B,
chickenpox, and measles, mumps and rubella remained relatively
stable and near or above the national Healthy People 2010 target of
90 percent or higher, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease
Control and Prevention study.
Rates of vaccination for hepatitis A and the birth dose of
hepatitis B increased by more than 6 percent and 5 percent,
respectively, from the previous year.
Forty-four percent of the children had received rotavirus
vaccine during infancy. These vaccines were first licensed in the
United States in 2006.
There was a decrease in vaccinations against Haemophilus
influenzae B (Hib), a bacterial illness that can cause a
potentially deadly brain infection. In 2009, 83.6 percent of
children aged 19 to 35 months had received three doses of Hib
vaccine, a 6.4 percent decrease from 2008. This reflects a national
shortage of the vaccine in 2008 and 2009. There are now adequate
supplies of the Hib vaccine, the study authors noted.
"While it's encouraging to see immunization rates remaining high, we know that parents have questions about vaccines and we must continue to educate parents about the importance of vaccination to help avoid future resurgences in serious, preventable illnesses," Dr. Anne Schuchat, director of CDC's National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases, said in an agency news release.
She noted that in 2008 there were outbreaks of measles that
occurred primarily in children whose parents had refused to have
their children vaccinated.
It's likely there are still some communities with high numbers
of under-vaccinated or unvaccinated children, Schuchat added.
The American Academy of Family Physicians has more about
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